In Pasvik valley: The old Bjorklund Gard farm (Bjørklund Gård) near Svanvik

Museum Bjorklundgard, Bjørklund Gård, Pasvikdal, Pasvik, Svanvik, Leica M Elmarit 2.8 28 asph., Kodak Ektar | ©

We are in the far north-east of Norway. Only a narrow road leads along the Russian border. It is inconceivable that apart from brown bears and reindeer there should also be human civilization. But a small sign leads us to a property in the middle of the birch forests.

In Pasvik valley: The old Bjorklund Gard farm (Bjørklund Gård) near Svanvik

A small wooden sign near Svanvik points us to the roadside in Pavikdal. From here it goes through tall grass and a sparse birch forest to an almost treeless plot. The meadow on the driveway has not been mowed here for a long time and so the hidden Bjorklund Gard farm (Bjørklund Gård) lies like a sleeping beauty in these foothills of the Siberian taiga. It looked very different here.

It was 1869 when road worker Jon Pedersen Fætten came from Folldal to Pasvik to settle here. Two years later he bought Bjorklund Gard (Bjørklund Gård) here in Svanvik. The name of the farm refers to the surrounding extensive birch forests of the taiga. At that time, like Jon P. Fætten, some settlers from southern Folldal came to Pasvikdal to look for a new future.

The Bjørklund Gård farm is a form that is quite typical of this region, as has often been found in the Norwegian-Finnish-Russian border area in Pasvikdal. Some elements also point to the Kven culture *. The basic structure follows the Norwegian building tradition.

Bjørklund Gård was in operation until 1960. The old house dates from 1870, the manor house from 1906. The cowshed was added in 1930. Bjørklund also includes a sauna, its own cellar, two wooden sheds and a seesaw.

Bjørklund Gård is now a branch of the Varanger Museum. The courtyard is only open for special events.

For some photos we had to go through nettles that were several meters high and penetrated even through thin trekking pants. Sturdy footwear is highly recommended outside of the mown areas, as there can also be small snakes similar to the adder. Mosquitoes are omnipresent on Bjørklund Gård.

* The Kven were Finnish farmers and fishermen who emigrated to northern Sweden and northern Norway in the 18th and 19th centuries. They are recognized as a minority in Norway and have their own language.

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